The Montreal Impact hope to maintain their swagger despite missing key pieces when they return to Major League Soccer play this weekend after a two-week break.
“I hate that word,” Impact ‘keeper Evan Bush said. “But if we keep that swagger as we talked about from a couple weeks ago, I think that we’ll be in a good place whether we win, draw, lose. Whatever it is, I think we’ve set ourselves up for a good run here.”
Winger Ignacio Piatti will not be in the lineup for the Impact (2-1-0) when they face Sporting Kansas City (1-1-1) at Children’s Mercy Park Saturday (3 p.m., TSN5, CTV, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio). Impact manager Rémi Garde said Piatti sustained a knee injury during the team’s 3-1 victory against Orlando City SC on March 16. There is no timetable on when he’ll be back, but Garde noted the setback is “temporary.”
The 34-year old Argentinian has scored three goals in three games for Montreal in 2019, including a brace against Orlando City. Since joining MLS in 2014, the three-time all-star has scored 66 goals in 127 matches. Garde and the Impact obviously recognize his worth to the team, but they feel they can still play their game without Piatti in the lineup.
“In every team, where a big player is playing like Messi or Ronaldo, nobody can forget there is a team behind this guy,” Garde said.
“We have a system now that doesn’t rely as much on one guy,” Bush said. “Obviously Nacho is a guy that we rely on a lot when he’s on the field. But I think that we showed in some of the preseason games this year that if we’re missing certain guys, we have other guys that can fill a position and maybe not do the job that Nacho did, but the system itself can make up for some of that.”
A candidate to replace Piatti is newcomer Harry Novillo, 27, who can play both left and right wings. While Garde wouldn’t reveal if Novillo will take Piatti’s place, he practised on the left wing this week.
The native of Lyon, France, joined the Impact during the offseason, but suffered a hamstring injury during the team’s final preseason game. Novillo made his first appearance against Orlando City, assisting on Piatti’s second goal.
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